Money is raining down from the sky: what many people dream of has happened in Mainz. The background is still unclear. The authorities warn: You can’t simply keep such certificates.

Banknotes with a value of at least 50,000 euros fluttered out of a high-rise building in Mainz. As the police announced on Tuesday, several residents of the high-rise complex in the Rhineland-Palatinate state capital reported the “extraordinary storm” on Monday afternoon.

Residents have already collected a five-digit amount and handed it over to the police. A sniffer dog was also used in the search for bills. A spokeswoman stressed that pocketing the banknotes is not allowed. It is a case of embezzlement that could lead to a fine or imprisonment.

The owner of the large sum of money was initially unknown. A police spokesman said that no one had reported until late Tuesday evening. The money will thus be handed over to the lost and found office of the city of Mainz. At the same time, the police investigation continued. The rightful owner can collect the money upon presentation of appropriate proof.

According to the police, it was unclear from which building the rain of money came and why the banknotes had flown out of the house. “The suspicions range from money sewn into a pillow that accidentally fell out when it was turned out, to money that came from a crime,” it said. Südwestrundfunk had previously reported.

“I suspect that the facts of the misappropriation of finds are not known to everyone,” said legal expert Jennifer Vanessa Kaiser of the German Press Agency. A bank note is a “foreign movable thing” within the meaning of the law. “If I simply pocket the note, I am embezzling it from a purely legal point of view. Then there could be a fine or even imprisonment for up to three years.” Such a found item should be handed in to the police or the lost and found office. “A graduated finder’s fee is also regulated by law,” said Kaiser in Ingelheim am Rhein.